Marie Stopes services continue until February
Marie Stopes has been a granted an interim order allowing it to continue offering termination of pregnancy services in the Western Cape until a dispute with the Western Cape health department comes before the court in February next year.
The Cape High Court has granted an interim order in the urgent application by the Marie Stopes clinics who had alleged that the actions of the Western Cape Provincial Department of Health had put women’s right to access terminations under threat.
By agreement between the parties, the Marie Stopes clinics will continue to function as before, until the review application which will be argued on 6 February 2008.
The Department, in May this year, decided to apply provincial licensing regulations to the clinics, and after discussions between the parties, then gave notice that criminal sanctions would be imposed if the clinics did not comply by a set deadline.
The clinics, represented by the Women’s Legal Centre approached the High Court for an order declaring the Province be prohibited from applying these regulations pending the outcome of an application to take the Departments’ decision on review.
Marie Stopes was granted the interim relief sought, and the parties will return to court to argue the review matter on 6 February 2008.
Noluthando Ntlokwana, the Women’s Legal Centre attorney representing Maries Stopes clinics, said she was pleased with the outcome as women’s right to access safe terminations was secure until the Court decided the matter next year.